Who owned Lancashire?

The 5th Earl of DerbyWhen the 1871 census demonstrated just how much land was held in so few hands the Radicals were jubilant. The Conservative Earl of Derby was prodded to stand up in the House of Lords to demand a recount by way of a government survey. The result came to be known as the Second Domesday Book. When published the Tories were dismayed and the Radicals doubly delighted. The earl was shown to hold the most extensive estate in Lancashire by far, and the most valuable.

A Tory land-owning squire and member of the Carlton club, John Bateman, took the survey report and fleshed it out from his intimate knowledge of those he termed the Great Landowners of the UK. His discussion of Domesday 2, his analysis of its implications and the information he gathered on Lancashire landowners is presented here. Also here is a discussion of the way that that landownership has been preserved.


Who owns England? coverWho owned Lancashire? – introduction: Guy Shrubsole’s Who Owns England? How We Lost Our Green & Pleasant Land & How To Take It Back reveals ways to discover the owners of so much of the English landscape, ownership that is carefully concealed from the public.  It provides a starting point for uncovering who owned Lancashire at the end of the 19th century.


Title Page of Bateman's The Great Landowners of Great Britain and IrelandBateman’s Great Landowners – Preface: John Bateman’s book ran through four editions and updates between 1876 and 1883, quickly becoming a best seller. He was an astute and sometimes critical observer of his fellow members of the squirocracy. He demonstrates a wry sense of humour throughout.


Earl of Derby's entry in bookBateman’s Great Landowners – Lancashire: A listing of all the Great Landlords listed in Bateman’s book as holding part or all of their estate in the county.


Map of old Lancashire showing principal landownersLancashire’s resident ‘great landowners’: Map of old Lancashire showing those landowners listed by Bateman who gave a Lancashire address.


Bateman’s Great Landowners – Appendices: John Bateman was a great believer in Ireland for the English and had a poor view of the Irish and of Catholics, and especially of Irish Catholics. Setting aside these prejudices, he offers a great deal of insight into the patterns of land ownership in Britain and Ireland.


See also:

Great War conscription and Edwardian Preston’s ‘class ceiling’

Public School Prestonians

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